GSI detects potash reserves in Punjab’s Fazilka, Muktsar districts
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has found reserves of potash, a mineral mainly used in fertilizers, estimated to be worth over ₹1,000 crore in the basin of south-western Punjab’s Fazilka and Muktsar districts, officials privy to the development said. The potash reserves will boost the state exchequer and reduce import bills of the country, they said.
With this, Punjab has become the second state in the country after Rajasthan to have underground potash reserves and this will open a new chapter in the mining sector of the state, said an official.
An official of the state mining department said India imports millions of tonnes of the mineral every year.
The GSI officials shared the news with the state mining department recently in a meeting of the State Geological Programming Board. The GSI study has confirmed the presence of potash at a depth of 400-500 metres. The exploration was going on for the past one year. Sources in the mining department said the GSI team will take a few more months to complete the exploration and then hand over the sites to the Punjab government.
A top official of the GSI, pleading anonymity, said, “A team of GSI has found potash in Fazilka and Muktsar districts. The quantity is yet to be calculated as the work of exploration is still on. But its commercial value is expected to be over ₹1,000 crore.”
In written communication, a GSI official said, “Two deep boreholes have been completed and a few more have been planned to delineate the extent and mineral potential.”
Additional secretary of mines and geology, Rahul Bhandari, said, “In the recent meeting of State Geological Programming Board, GSI officials said that they have found potash in Punjab and further studies are on.”